App State took a lead thanks to strong early work from pitcher Tyler Tuthill and an RBI double from Andrew Greckel, but UNCW used a quick-strike fourth inning to claim control in a 6-1 win in their series opener Friday night.
Game 2 is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday. Quinton Martinez is the probable starter on the mound for the Mountaineers (6-6).
Greckel reached base three times against the Seahawks (8-3) during a 2-for-4 night with two doubles. Phillip Cole, Kendall McGowan and Alex Leshock had one hit apiece.
Tuthill retired the first 10 batters he faced, getting four strikeouts in that stretch. Four straight batters reached with one out in the fourth, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead for UNCW, and Tuthill then retired the next six batters after that sequence.
Tuthill finished with seven strikeouts and four earned runs allowed in six-plus innings. Eli Ellington finished out the seventh, and AJ Stinson struck out three batters in a one-run eighth.
App State accounted for all four hits through the first three innings, as Greckel delivered a two-out, third-inning double to bring home Luke Drumheller, who had been hit by a pitch earlier in the frame. McGowan singled to left in the next at-bat, but Dillon Lifrieri threw out Greckel at home.
Jac Croom beat out a strong throw from Greckel at third base to give UNCW its first baserunner in the fourth. Back-to-back walks on 3-2 pitches loaded the bases, and a wild pitch tied the game before Matt Suggs hit a three-run homer to give the Seahawks a 4-1 lead.
UNCW added single runs in the seventh (unearned following a pair of errors) and eight (solo homer).